They sat in the icy, roofless ruin of his once home. Fire in the snow. Wood from somewhere, brought by the madman he shared food with. Is this all that is left of the world? The dragon did not eat but the man he looked like did.
“This was your home then?”
Ohern’s head was down yet not derelict to the flames. He spoke little. The dragon would not take meat from the spit and so Ohern took it off and handed it to him. He ate as a man not used to food. Ohern looked at his ribs. The misshapen wrack hunger had made of him, the awkward weakness of being alone and he felt both greater and lesser than he.
“These things of yours they are magical?”
Ohern did not look at the shield or the spear. The breastplate he wore as no other thing but the skin of the beast she had given him. It was a clothing for his chest. He looked at it. He saw use and care and ages unknown to any living thing real to him here or now or ever.
“They say a shrine is here, or up there rather, where you came from. Many plunder these parts sire. Many come taking. That shrine, the old one that they say is there, that ones not been found. They say there’s a weapon and a way up there. Old, old like the war only older. Some would come up here to find it and take it now there’s no Abbey and no Guard.” He ate now and waited. He waited for nothing.
Soon the fire was not enough and he enlarged it in his way and cloaked himself with the skin and dried the wet of it pelt as he turned. Sleep could be here but the wind would make it hard.
“Where do you go and to do what?”
When the last of the colors were shaded cold and the last of the blue that was cool was replaced with the blue that was hurtful, high and distant and those of the stars that would not brave the night clouds were cast out to their sky and the wind woke with an absent sun, he held himself true to her. To her face and he asked her more than he did himself. And he asked her what he should do and she answered him and she told him that which hurt and of the heart that could be healed and he knew this and her love for telling him. And he told her so with his secret self and he cared for the awkward man and he closed his eyes and the dragon would not kill him though the need of the Dark was greater than the need of his own becoming. And in the morning he was gone but he would find those who would stand with or against him and he would rise up enemies and friends and he would put a hand to his heart and unmake it if it was there to be unmade in the end and he thought of this aloneness and of the aloneness of the one he had shared a fire with.